Biplane fighter aces


Kersantti Vilho Matias Rinkineva

12 July 1918 – 30 November 1985

Vilho Rinkineva was born in Ylihärmä on 12 July 1918.

He received flying training in 1939-41 at SOK 4.

On 27 November 1941, he was assigned to LLv 16 as an alikersantti.

He was promoted to kersantti on 11 July 1942.

In June 1944, Rinkineva served in 1/TLeLv 16 equipped with Gloster Gladiators.

Very early in the morning on 15 June 1944, three Gladiators from 1/TLeLv 16 were on a reconnaissance mission over Karhumäki – Paatene – Seesjärvi airfield – Karvi station – Metsäkylä station – Virtanen – Kerpasjärvi – Mustalahti – Karhumäki.
Suddenly at 03:40 (probably wrong), south-west of Maaselkä airfield one Soviet P-40 attacked kersantti Rinkineva’s Gladiator. The Finns scattered and the P-40 followed Rinkineva to near Saranaava before giving up trying to shoot down the wildly dodging Gladiator. On returning, the base Rinkineva told that the P-40 had fired at him trice without hitting.
The other two Gladiators continued their mission but then at 03:40, approximately 5km north of Vansjärvi, two P-40s attacked luutnantti Kurki’s Gladiator. Both P-40s fired once without hitting the Gladiator.
The third (vänrikki Kemppainen) continued the mission alone and flew through the ordered route completing the mission.

Between 25 and 27 June 1944, nine I-153s were delivered to 1/TLeLv 16 under the command of kapteeni M. Somppi at Kuutamolahti.
TLeLv 16 was under the command of majuri H. Pursiainen and its task was reconnaissance in the Lake Onezhskoye (Äänisjärvi) area. The 1st Flight had Gladiators, the 2nd had Lysanders and the 3rd had Fokker C.Xs.

On 29 July a group of five I-153s from 1/TLeLv 16 led by luutnantti H. Härmälä clashed with two Soviet Airacobras from 773 IAP over Korpiselkä. During the ensuing combat between 19:10 and 19:15 one Airacobra was claimed as a damaged by kersantti Rinkineva (IT-31) at Loimola.
Ten days later in a POW interrogation it was learnt that the Soviet aircraft had crashed and Rinkineva got a confirmed victory.

On 3 September 1944, he was transferred to HLeLv 26.

He was demobilized on 11 November 1944.

Rinkineva ended the war with 1 biplane victory this one being claimed while flying the Polikarpov I-153.
During his career, he was awarded with theVapauden Mitali 1st and 2nd Class.

After the was he run a traffic company.

Rinkineva passed away on 30 November 1985.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 29/07/44 19:10-19:15 1 Airacobra (a) Destroyed I-153 IT-31 Loimola 1/TLeLv 16

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with P-39 Airacobras from 773 IAP.

Hiljaa ja matalalla III/III Tiedustelulaivue 16:n vaiheita sodassa 1943-1944 - Onni Kuuluvainen, 1999 Vammala, ISBN 952-91-0888-5 kindly provided by Juha Vaittinen
Ilmavoitot, osa 1 - Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, ISBN 952-99432-8-8
Ilmavoitot, osa 2 - Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, ISBN 952-99432-8-8
LeR 2 - Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman, 2001, ISBN 951-98751-0-7
Venäläiset Hävittäjät - Kalevi Keskinen, Kari Stenman and Klaus Niska, ISBN 951-9035-25-7
Additional information kindly provided by Juha Vaittinen.

Last modified 14 June 2006